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DC scheme return checklist

Important information you’ll need in order to complete the DC scheme return for 2017.

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Small DC schemes: changes in the last 3 years

A small DC scheme has 2 to 11 members.

Pension Tracing Service contact

You will be asked to provide a Pension Tracing Service contact (if different to the current scheme contact). We are asking for this to ensure we have the right contact for the service to use. The Pension Tracing Service is part of the Department for Work and Pensions and allows members to find contact details on their own workplace or personal pension scheme or someone else’s scheme if they have their permission.

Consent to electronic services

We'd like to deliver documents by email wherever possible, we are therefore asking you to consent to this.

Type of trustee

There is a requirement for each scheme trustee to indicate if they are a professional trustee and for any corporate trustee to indicate if they or any of their directors are professional trustees.

Charge controls

You will be asked to confirm whether the scheme has been compliant with the charge controls which came into force on 6 April 2015.

These charge controls apply to charges deducted from members' funds invested in the default arrangements of certain occupational pension schemes providing money purchase benefits, and which are qualifying schemes for the purposes of automatic enrolment legislation, although exceptions apply. There are certain exceptions and you may wish to seek advice to determine whether or not the regulations on charges apply to arrangements in your scheme.

For more information go to DC charge controls.

Part 2 of the charge and governance regulations 2015

We have made minor amendments to the wording around the ‘charge cap’ question.

With effect from 6 April 2016, service providers are prevented from levying a charge on members to recover the cost of any commission payments to advisers for certain advice or services in respect of any new commission arrangements, including variations or renewals of these arrangements. Although this duty rests with providers of services to trustees of certain occupational pensions schemes, the regulations also include a new duty on trustees to confirm to us, via the scheme return, that their service providers have are complying with this new duty.

This is now referred to as ‘Part 2 of the charge and governance 2015’.

Appointing a chair and the chair's statement

Where the scheme is required to have a chair of trustees (or a chair of the managers) you will need to provide us with their details and confirm whether the scheme has prepared a chair's statement.

Trustees / managers are required by law to appoint a chair. This may be an individual trustee, a professional trustee body, or the director of a corporate trustee which is not a professional trustee body. Certain exclusions apply and you may wish to seek advice on this matter.

The chair is responsible for signing the chair’s statement, a document that details how the trustees have met new governance standards that came into force in April 2015 and covers areas relating to:

  • trustee knowledge and understanding
  • administration, particularly the promptness and accuracy of core financial transactions
  • investment governance relating to default arrangement
  • value for members, including charges
  • independence requirements for master trusts and other schemes for non-associated employers

This applies to occupational pension schemes that provide money purchase benefits, although exceptions apply. You may wish to seek advice to check whether and how these regulations apply to your scheme.

Use of scheme for automatic enrolment

You will be asked to confirm whether any of the employers that use the scheme have passed their automatic enrolment staging date. If so, you will also need to confirm whether they have used the scheme on or after 6 April 2015 to meet their:

  • automatic enrolment duties in respect of any staff who were automatically enrolled or opted into the scheme
  • employer duties in respect of any staff who did not have to be automatically enrolled or given the opportunity to opt in because they were existing members of the scheme

Both of the above questions have yes / no responses – you won’t need to provide numbers of affected staff.

Details of members and money which have left the scheme in the last 12 months

You will be asked to provide details of any scheme leavers for the 12-month period up to the latest scheme year end date that was used when providing the most recent membership figures. These will be the number of members who have left the scheme due to retirement, transferring to another scheme or for any other reason.

You will also need to provide the total amount of money which has left your scheme, even in respect of members who have not left, for example they have drawn their Pension Commencement Lump Sum but remain a member of the scheme.

Scheme assets and contributions paid in the last 12 months

You will be asked to provide the net asset valuation as at the scheme year end date that was used when providing the most recent membership figures.

You will also be asked to provide the total amount that has been contributed to the scheme in the 12 month period up to the scheme year end date. Please also include any special contributions (non-cash contributions such as property or shares etc) and transfers in.

You will need to separate values into:

  • Employer – contributions made by the employer and not deducted from salary. Where age-related rebates have been paid in respect of DC members contracted out of the State Second Pension scheme prior to April 2012, please include these payments as an employer contribution. Where salary / bonus sacrifice (also known as salary / bonus exchange) arrangements are in place, the additional contributions should be included as employer contributions.
  • Employee – contributions deducted from employee salaries.
  • Transfers in – any transfers in respect of members transferred from another scheme.

Executive pension

Schemes will need to confirm whether or not the scheme is an executive pension scheme.

Trustee contact information

You must provide an email address for all trustees of the scheme and confirm the chair of trustees (or where there is no chair, or the chair is rotated, a nominated contact). This will be the main point of contact for regulatory purposes. Direct email addresses and contact telephone numbers should be provided for each individual. General emails and switchboard numbers may affect our ability to contact the scheme and should not be provided.

Corporate trustees' Companies House reference number

In addition to the above trustee contact information, if you have any corporate trustees, you will need to provide a Companies House reference number for them. If you do not know your Companies House reference, you can look it up on the Companies House website.

Insurer and administrator names

We are standardising the information we hold on insurers and administrators to help us regulate more effectively.

There's a new drop down list of the company names of the main insurers and third party administrators for you to select from when adding or amending providers, so we hold the firm’s name in a consistent format. You will have the opportunity to input the name of your provider if it is not on the list. The names of all existing administrators and insurers have been converted to match the format in the standardised list.

For insurers and third party administrators, we also ask that you provide a named individual contact and their direct telephone number and email address.

Employer Pension Scheme Reference Number

If your scheme has more than one participating employer, you will be asked to provide the Employer Pension Scheme Reference Number (EPSR). An EPSR is any reference provided to the employer by the trustees or managers of a scheme evidencing the relationship between the employer and the scheme. If you do not have an EPSR assigned you do not need to complete this question.

Large DC schemes: changes in 2017

A large DC scheme has 12 or more members.

Pension Tracing Service contact

You will be asked to provide a Pension Tracing Service contact (if different to the current scheme contact). We are asking for this to ensure we have the right contact for the service to use. The Pension Tracing Service is part of the Department for Work and Pensions and allows members to find contact details on their own workplace or personal pension scheme or someone else’s scheme if they have their permission.

Consent to electronic services

We ‘d like to deliver documents by email wherever possible, we are therefore asking you to consent to this.

Part 2 of the charge and governance regulations 2015

We have made minor amendments to the wording around the ‘charge cap’ question.

  • With effect from 6 April 2016, service providers are prevented from levying a charge on members to recover the cost of any commission payments to advisers for certain advice or services in respect of any new commission arrangements, including variations or renewals of these arrangements. Although this duty rests with providers of services to trustees of certain occupational pensions schemes, the regulations also include a new duty on trustees to confirm to us, via the scheme return, that their service providers have are complying with this new duty.
  • This is now referred to as ‘Part 2 of the charge and governance 2015’.

Type of trustee

There is a requirement for each scheme trustee to indicate if they are a professional trustee and for any corporate trustee to indicate if they or any their directors are professional trustees.   

DC scheme return: example form

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